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Late in the baseball season, my brother-in-law Sal and I discussed an important issue facing sports fans today - Jersey Selection/Wearing Rules. With the holiday season just around the corner, you may consider buying one for you or as a gift. Here are some guidelines to protect your hard-earned money.

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1. Consider purchasing a shirt and jacket instead. Let's fact it, you might be honoring your favorite player, but you're simply either too fat, skinny, tall, short, sensitive or violent to pull it off. Wearing the shirt-and-jacket ensemble proves the point - you're not just some fly-by-night crappy ass fan.

2. The "woman going to a wedding" corollary. Women reading this column know one thing: You never want to attend a wedding wearing the same dress as some other woman. In the same vein, no two people in a group should own the same jersey. When the second person knowingly purchases the same jersey as a friend, the offender shall be ridiculed to the fullest extent of the law. And then some.

Crisis resolution: Sometimes friends unknowingly purchase the same jersey. This causes problems. The following must take place to avert a full scale crisis:

A) The second purchaser must return jersey. Receipts are preferable as evidence proving date of purchase. If receipts are unavailable, an arbiter is called to recount "who first thought of buying the jersey in question." The arbiter is allowed to decide on any grounds. If one purchaser vomited in the arbiter's car, this should totally be held against him.

B) Perhaps the tags have been removed from each jersey. In this case, the rules in A) should be followed to determine the "preferred" owner. The "preferred" owner is allowed to wear the jersey to all functions where both plan to attend. The "secondary" owner is not allowed to wear the jersey unless he/she receives express written consent from the preferred owner.

C) In the event this is not followed and both wear the jersey to the same function, both should be ridiculed for being tools.

3. You should never purchase a jersey on clearance. This means David Terrell doesn't play for your team anymore.

4. You should expect to be ridiculed for wearing a jersey. Being ridiculed is not grounds for starting a fight. Acceptable insults are (but not limited to) the following:

A) Hey Peyton Manning, how about showing us your laser rocket arm?

B) Hey Romo, I'm going to hike you a beer, let's see if you can hang on to it. (Alternate: Hey Romo, is that Britney Spears in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?)

C) Hey Briggs, need a ride?

D) Hey Grossman, you stink!

5. The Rex Grossman Rule. There are some players whose jersey you should never buy/wear - even when they are, say, quarterbacking a team to the Super Bowl. Grossman is one of them.

6. The Mark Malone Exception. You are allowed to go to NFL.com and fashion a jersey from a long-departed player to make a statement regarding the current play of your team. In the late 90s, I became dissatisfied with my fellow Steelers fans and their Kordell Stewart jerseys, so I purchased a Mark Malone jersey so I could wear the uniform of the "worst QB in Steelers history."

7. The Iron Clad Rule. Never, ever, ever wear a jersey with your last name on the back. Everybody knows you don't play professional sports.

8. Exception to the Iron Clad Rule: The Five-Year-Old and Younger Clause. You are always allowed to buy jerseys for children five and younger. It's just freaking cute.

9. The Childhood Hero Rule. It's always allowable to wear the jersey of a childhood hero. For many Bears fans, that means Walter Payton.

10. The Exception to The Childhood Hero Rule: The O.J. Clause. No explanation necessary.

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OverHyped Game of the Week: Patriots at Colts
Storyline: It's the game of the century! What did Peyton have for breakfast? What hot ensemble did Brady wear to the game? Like WWI, will this be the game that ends all games!

Reality: This game will be close for the first few minutes until the Patriots get tired of being ahead by less than 21 points.

Pick: New England Minus 5.5 Points, Over 56.5 Points Scored.

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UnderHyped Game of the Week: Jaguars at Saints
Storyline: The resurgent Saints host Jacksonville. Like the rest of the world, Jacksonville cares deeply about the NE/Indy game.

Reality: Everybody's favorite underdog looks to move to .500, and Jacksonville looks to move one game closer to Indy. It's the classic football matchup: Jacksonville looks to run the ball 242,000 times because their QB stinks, and New Orleans looks to throw the ball just as much because their RB is fragile. Makes for a very watchable game.

Pick: New Orleans Minus 3.5 Points, Under 40 Points Scored.

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Results
Last week: 3-3(2-1 Against the Spread, 1-2 Over/Under)
Season: 21-27 (9-15 Against the Spread, 12-12 Over/Under)

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For more Emery, see the Kool-Aid archive, and the Over/Under archive. Emery accepts comments from Bears fans reluctantly and everyone else tolerably.

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